For her solo present “New Flesh, the Feeling of the Night is Deep” at La Boite, Yesmine Ben Khelil turns her consideration to the Carthage oceanographic museum Dar el Hout. The general public establishment’s poor upkeep and frequent water leaks impressed the Tunis-based artist to invest on what would occur if the constructing have been to be absolutely flooded, drowning the creatures—each residing and lifeless—that it hosts. What new types of existence would these objects assume underneath these situations?
Ben Khelil results the transformation with a partial reconstitution of Dar el Hout: Upon strolling in on the coastal blue carpet, we’re greeted by a sequence of zombiefied portraits of the successive museum administrators. Their ghastly presence anchors the nationwide museum in a historic continuum spanning its creation through the French protectorate in 1924 to present instances. In the identical area, Ben Khelil departs additional into fantasy along with her interpretation of the fish tanks, taxidermy birds, and different curiosities populating Dar el Hout. A quartet of standing painted panels offers a glimpse of the submerged museum’s inhabitants and structure as they metamorphose into hybrid monstrosities—the “new flesh” of the exhibition’s title. An adjoining gallery, La Boite Studio, presents glimpses of Ben Khelil’s creative course of by notebooks and sketches documenting the genesis of the undertaking.
“New Flesh” is a part of an ongoing creative initiative with curator Aziza Harmel addressing the general public cultural infrastructure of Tunisia. Collectively, the duo asks find out how to use and occupy present ruins and confront the ghosts that hang-out them. Ben Khelil, beforehand been identified for her meticulous miniature collages and drawings, succeeds with this larger-scale set up, playfully questioning the situations of existence inside the oceanographic museum. The artist’s apocalyptic plot subtly unpacks her ambivalent emotions about and perspective towards Dar el Hout as a case examine, whereas foreshadowing the present disaster engulfing the nation as a complete.